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The Looks of Love – A Timeline of Artistic Vision

Bodies entwined … doomed lovers from myth and legend …symbolism and sensuality …

Great artists have always found love an irresistible subject. As our valentine to you, we share 14 images, both pure and passionate, from our Fine Art stock image collection.


1-“Adam and Eve”-Cranach the Elder, 1546


Inspired by Genesis 3, Renaissance master Lucas Cranach the Elder painted the world’s first lovers, Adam and Eve, in oils. Fine art collection License Image: 463-282748


2-“Amor and Psyche”FRANCOIS GERARD, 1798


French painter Francois Gerard placed a butterfly above Psyche to symbolize her sexual awakening by Cupid’s kiss. Fine art collection License Image: 4409-7833 


3- “Paolo and Francesca”-Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1819


Dante’s Paolo and Francesca remain trapped in the second circle of hell, reserved for the lustful. French neoclassicist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres captures their passion and eternal punishment. Fine art collection License Image: 4435-2230


4-“Daphnis and Chloe” –Francois Pascal Simon, 1824


French painter and engraver Francois Pascal Simon found his inspiration in the lovers Daphnis and Chloe, from a 2nd Century AD Greek romance set on the island of Lesbos. Fine art collection License Image: 4266-20010626


5- “Capulets Over The Dead Bodies Of Romeo and Juliet” –Frederic Leighton, 1855


Frederic Leighton was a painter and a sculptor (and a baron for a single day). He imagined this moment of reconciliation between Montagues and Capulets over the bodies of their children, Romeo and Juliet. Fine art collection License Image: 866-5140


6-“Springtime” -Pierre Auguste Cot, 1873


French classicist Pierre Auguste Cot’s Springtime delighted the public with its theme of carefree, young love. The image of the couple on the swing was copied in engravings, tapestries, fans, and porcelains. Fine art collection License Image4453-20020302


7-“A Dance in the Country” –Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1883


French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted this flirtatious dancing couple. He got more than his commission. He later married the female model Aline Charigot. Fine art collection License Image: 1566-13792562


8-“Lady of Shalott” -John William Waterhouse, 1888


The unrequited love of the lady of Shalott for Lancelot inspired English painter John William Waterhouse, who often painted the women of Arthurian legend and Greek mythology. Fine art collection License Image: 4042-20588219


9-“The Kiss” -Auguste Rodin, 1889


The kiss represents Dante’s doomed lovers, Paolo and Francesca, locked in the kiss that sealed their fate. The Museé Rodin now displays Rodin’s marble masterwork. Fine art collection License Image: 1890-138302


10-“Cupid and Psyche” -William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1890


French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau brought a realistic style to mythological subjects, such as Cupid and Psyche. He painted the rapturous lovers many times in his career. Fine art collection License Image: 4266-2163


11-“The End of the Song” -Edmund Blair Leighton, 1902


English painter Edmund Blair Leighton depicts adulterous lovers Tristan and Isolde in a tender moment. Their story also inspired Richard Wagner’s opera. Fine art collection License Image: 866-5958


12-“The Kiss” -Gustave Klimt, 1908


Perhaps no human activity has inspired more artistic expression than kissing. In The Kiss, Austrian Symbolist painter Gustave Klimt rendered an embrace in layers of oil and accents of gold leaf. Fine art collection License Image: 1566-1299004


13-“Passionment” -Elsie Millon, 1946


Illustrator Elsie Millon was known for her Art Deco couples and whimsical watercolors. Passionment was featured in the book, Le Petit Coeur, written by her husband Henri Collin- Delavaud. Fine art collection License Image: 4186-20445381


14- “The Kiss” -Pablo Picasso, 1969


Spanish-born Pablo Picasso spent most of his career in France and became world famous in his lifetime. In The Kiss, passion fuses his lovers into a single being. Fine art collection License Image: 1158-1582


If you enjoyed our Valentine’s Day Fine Art Gallery, show us some love and share our bloG! If you want to view more fine art images view our entire stock image selection below!




Tom Sheeter
Tom Sheeter is a Los Angeles based writer and Account Manager at Superstock. He specializes in film and tv licensing and clearance issues.

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